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Oklahoma State University

Veterinary Medicine from India to Stillwater

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Front row (left to right): Avery Melton, OSU class of 2022; Radish Selvaraj, Dhaarani Gajendiran, Rachel Dill, OSU class of 2020; Salma Begum Mubarakali, Jessil Joseph, Aparna Gopinadhan and Shankar Ramasamy. Back row (left to right): Christa Olbrey, OSU class of 2020; Haley Palacio, OSU Class of 2020; Patil Basavaraju Nanjegowdu, Dr. Lionel Dawson, Dr. Madhan Subramanian, and Bennet Lane, OSU class of 2020. Also participating in the program but not pictured was Laura Edwards, OSU class of 2021.

As part of an international student exchange program with India’s Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), seven veterinary students traveled to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to study at Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine during the 2019 fall semester. Three of the students, who will earn their veterinary medicine degrees in 2020, shared their experiences.

“I knew this would be a great opportunity for me to learn how veterinary medicine is practiced in the United States,” said Aparna Gopinadhan. “I also wanted to experience the culture over here. What surprised me the most was how dedicated everyone is to their job and how almost all the doctors are up to date on what’s happening in veterinary medicine all over the world. My goal is to learn as much as I can to become a good doctor. I feel the most important thing is client dealing. Watching the students and doctors talk to the clients, it amazes me. The way they communicate with the clients makes the client trust them completely and that’s something I want to achieve.”

Inspired by Steve Irvin’s television show where he and his team worked with wildlife, Gopinadhan decided she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was about 10 years old. So it’s no surprise the zoo medicine rotation was her favorite.

“My favorite part was my first week of clinical rotations. I was in the zoo, exotics and wildlife services,” she said. “The doctors, the technician and the students were really friendly and made me feel part of the group. I learned so much. I saw a lot of wild animals and exotic animals and had the chance to go to the Oklahoma City Zoo. I just loved it.”

Jessil Joseph also enjoyed the zoo medicine rotation and found the client communication interesting.

“While I’m here I want to learn about the client dealing,” said Joseph. “I want to learn how you diagnose the case, how you are treating the patient and the medicine you are using. The diagnosis procedures and the client dealing is totally different from our country. I like the exotic and wildlife rotation. I saw different species that I don’t see in India. It was a lot of fun.”

Radish Selvaraj enjoyed the field services rotation in food animal medicine and again was intrigued with client communication.

“I had the opportunity to go with Dr. Lionel Dawson and Dr. John Gilliam,” said Selvarah. “They introduced me to many things in the field. They had me talk with clients at their farm. It was my favorite part of this experience so far. I have to learn as much as I can quickly within these eight rotations so that I can improve my knowledge and skills. I like to visit other countries so it’s fortunate that I had the opportunity to come here. I want other students back in India to know there are different things apart from their country. They should come to other states; there’s a lot to learn in the veterinary field.”

“The study abroad program was initiated by Drs. Ashish Ranjan, Jerry Malayer, and Lionel Dawson,” said Madhan Subramanian, BVSc, Ph.D., assistant professor in the physiological sciences department. “This summer Dr. Dawson and I took students from the College of Veterinary Medicine to TANUVAS in Tamilnadu, India. Then students from TANUVAS came here in October.

“The OSU students had a great experience in India,” he added. “They were exposed to a lot of new cases in the clinics, especially tropical diseases which they would never see in the U.S. In addition, they were able to interact with the local people, the veterinarians and the students over there. In the same way, the students who traveled all the way from India learned a lot about the U.S. culture and the advanced clinical practices followed at the College of Veterinary Medicine here at OSU. Students from India also learned about the research programs at the veterinary college which will help them if they want to apply for graduate schools to come back here. It’s a unique opportunity for the students and faculty to meet and interact with the members of the different institutions. I’m looking forward to seeing this happen again in the coming years.”

For more information about the DVM program or graduate studies at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, visit the DVM Program webpage.

MEDIA CONTACT: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU College of Veterinary Medicine | 405-744-6740 |

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